Colts eliminated from playoff race with loss to Raiders
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) In a span of less than eight minutes, the Indianapolis Colts went from driving for a potential go-ahead score to trailing by 26 points.
Just like that, their slim playoff hopes were extinguished, and it was time to start preparing for another long offseason.
Andrew Luck's second interception of the game led to the rapid momentum shift, and the Colts went on to lose 33-25 to the Oakland Raiders on Saturday to be knocked out of playoff contention for a second straight season.
''I feel like I failed my teammates,'' Luck said. ''There's a lot of disappointed guys in that locker room. We did have opportunities and we didn't take advantage of it. That seems to be the case too many times this year, not much else to say really.''
With Indianapolis (7-8) trailing 13-7, Luck forced a deep throw into the end zone while under pressure, and Reggie Nelson intercepted it with 1:13 to play in the half.
The Raiders then drove down the field and scored on Derek Carr's third TD throw of the second quarter to take a 19-7 lead. Oakland (12-3) then took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards to score on DeAndre Washington's 22-yard run.
Frank Gore fumbled two plays later and Washington scored on another 22-yard run to make it 33-7 and put the game out of reach.
The Colts will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98, right before Peyton Manning arrived.
''It's pretty much unacceptable,'' linebacker Erik Walden said. ''An organization like this, it's like a requirement to get to the postseason, and we haven't been able to do that, this year and last year.''
The Colts playoff hopes were dealt a big blow when they lost at home to Houston two weeks ago. After winning last week in Minnesota and watching Tennessee lose earlier in the day, Indianapolis had a chance to win the division by winning its final two games if Houston also lost twice.
But the Colts couldn't even hold up their end of the bargain against the Raiders, and now the questions about the job status of coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson will heat up.
''We can never seem to get on a run, we could never keep it going and have the momentum to string two, three, four or five games together like you need to do,'' Pagano said. ''When you had opportunities and a lot of ups and downs. We make no excuses about whatever. That's disappointing.''
Luck did his best to try to lead a late comeback after Carr left the game with a broken bone in his right leg in the fourth quarter.
Luck threw his second TD pass of the game, ran for a score and converted a two-point play to T.Y. Hilton to make it 33-22. The Colts then had to settle for a field goal with 2:33 left to cut the deficit to eight.
Their last chance was squandered when Oakland backup Matt McGloin completed a 19-yard pass to Amari Cooper on third-and-8 on the next drive and the Raiders ran out the clock.
''We had a chance, another chance, and we didn't get it done, and it's disappointing because we're better than what was showed,'' safety Mike Adams said. ''We're better than what was displayed today. The inconsistencies just can't happen.''
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